Have you ever felt inadequate? Or felt like you didn’t measure up? I have felt that way. I’ve made so many mistakes in my life and have often thought, “What could I possibly have to offer or teach anyone?” The first time someone asked to be a ‘mentor’ to them, I almost laughed out loud.
God has showed me a few things on my journey.
- My life has purpose
- I need others
- They need me
God wants to use you, right now, right where you’re at today.
In Luke 1 we find the familiar story about Mary that we often read at Christmas time. When the angel comes to Mary, he tells her that she is going to have the Son of God and he also tells her that her cousin Elizabeth is pregnant.
In Luke 1:29-30 we see that Mary immediately left for Elizabeth’s house. In the Message version it says, “she didn’t waste a minute.” Why did she go to Elizabeth’s house right away? Mary was a young, unmarried virgin, who just heard some big news. Who could she possibly talk to? Her mother? Her rabbi? Mary was most likely feeling overwhelmed and needed encouragement and guidance so she went to Elizabeth’s house.
I have a feeling Elizabeth must have felt a bit inadequate also. In Luke 1:43-44, “But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?”
Elizabeth was the ideal mentor for Mary. She knew firsthand a bit of what Mary was going to face. Elizabeth was old, past her child-bearing years. People in the town would have been whispering and pointing fingers at her baby bump. Elizabeth identified with Mary in a special way. She would understand and not condemn. In uncertainty, God does something beautiful.
Even though Elizabeth’s prayers went unanswered for so long, she and her husband both remained faithful to God. Luke 1:6 “Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly.”
Elizabeth most likely wiped away Mary’s tears and encouraged her. She told her she was extra-ordinary. Luke 2:45 “Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!”
People like Elizabeth make perfect mentors because they are living a ‘now’ word. They know God, they believe Him and live faith-filled lives. They have learned how to walk with the Lord through the difficult times and know how to call upon Him. They also know how to pray and keep believing even when their prayers are not answered right away.
I find such encouragement in this! You don’t have to be finished products to help others. You can still be a work in progress yourself. You do not have to have life all figured out to be a great encouragement to others. You just need to be 2-3 steps ahead in the journey. The next time you feel inadequate, remember that God may be preparing you to be an Elizabeth to a Mary out there.